Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
The Patten family of Maine is descended from one of the sturdiest, most honorable and religious families of England. Through long generations the Pattens across the seas have gazed with honest pride upon the motto on their coat-of-arms, "Nulla Palescere Culpa" ("Never made pale with guilt"). Those bearing the same name on our shores have constantly proved their right to the same shining motto. All the noble qualities of their ancestors have been well preserved among the Pattens of the Pine Tree State.
So far back as 1119 mention is made of a Richard Patten, as then living in Pattine, near Chelmsford, Essex county, England. His son, Richard, married the daughter and co-heiress of Dagenham of Dagenham, in Essex county, and became proprietor of Dagenham court. John Patten, a descendant of this Richard, is represented as living at Dagenham Court, in 1376, and his grandson, Nicholas Patten, is styled Lord Dagenham. In the reign of Henry VI we read this description: "The third Richard Patten of Wayne flete, called also Wayneflete, from having been born there, was bishop of Winchester, and sometime lord high chancellor, and founder of Magdalen College, Oxford, England."
Early in the reign of Henry VII, about the year 1490, a number of Pattens, of Essex county, England, emigrated to Scotland. In 1630 their descendants or a part of them removed to Ireland. Here was born Actor (or Hector Patten, as the English have it), in 1691 (or 1693). Many of the Pattens who remained in England when their brethern removed to Scotland settled in Lancashire county, in the north of England, between 1509 and 1594. Here they became connected by marriage with several families of distinction.
Mary Patten, daughter of Thomas Patten, married Wilson, bishop of Sodor and Mann, and hence the estates and name of Wilson took the name of Patten, and came eventually to the Patten family. Then the two coats-of-arms of the Wilson family were adopted by the Pattens, the crest the wolf's head, and the motto, Virtue Exalteth to Honor. This was united with the Patten coat-of-arms, the crest a griffin's head, with the motto "Never Made Pale with Guilt."
Another Thomas Patten erected the mansion of Bank Hall; his son and heir, Peter Patten, died 1819, just seven centuries from Richard Patten, the earliest known ancestor of the family. Dying without male issue Pater Patten left the representation of his family to his brother, Thomas Wilson Patten, of Bank Hill. His son, John Wilson Patten, was in 1862 a member of parliament and a colonel in the army. But through all these noble elevations of the family they have kept their sturdy faith in religion. John Patten, dean of Chichester, was one of the noblest Christains of England.
(I) Hector Patten was born in 1691-93, in the town in Dimbo, county Derry, Ireland. In 1727 he came to America, landing in Boston, Mass., and soon afterward settled in Maine. He was accompanied by his wife Pauline (Sutor) Patten, his sons, John, William and Matthew, and probably by his brothers, William and Robert. The second of these has no male descendants living. The youngest left descendants.
He settled in or near Saco, and had three sons:
Actor, of Kennebunk; Robert, of Litchfield; and another, whose name is not preserved.
He was a Calvinist in religious views, was an elder in the Presbyterian church in Ireland, and was esteemed a very good man by all who knew him. The date of his death is unknown.
(II) John, eldest son of Actor (or Hector) Patten, was born in 1717, in Ireland, and was about ten years of age when he came with his parents to America. He settled first in Saco, and about 1750 removed to Topsham, Maine, where he settled on a wild tract of land. This is pleasantly situated in sight of Merrymeeting bay, and here he made a beautiful farm and lived to a good old age, beloved by his friends and respected by all who knew him. He was an honest and industrious man, a farmer, and also operated a blacksmith-shop which was located on his farm. He was engaged to some extent in ship-building and navigation, and by his industry and good business methods accumulated a considerable property. His son Robert, writing of his father, said: "Those who retain a recollection of him, testify to his manly form and bearing and united in saying that he was tall and well proportioned, of commanding appearance, active and quick in his movements, kind and affectionate to his family and to all his circle of acquaintances. He reared a large and respectful family, bringing them up in the way they should go. He was religious form his youth, having enjoyed the example and instructions of a pious father. At the time of his death he was deacon of the Congregational church in Topsham. As a Christian he was exemplary, evincing the sincerity and depth of his religion in his daily walks and conversation. He was faithful in the performance of his duties pertaining to the relations of social and religious life. His home was the scene of domestic peace and the worship of God was regularly maintained. He was a strict observer of the Sabbath and though residing some miles from the place of public worship, he was a constant attendant upon the Sabbath services. On Sabbath evenings the children were called together and catechised according to the good old Puritan custom. John Patten died April 7, 1795, and a handsome marble monument was erected to his memory in 1863."
He was married Aug. 12, 1742, in Saco, to Mary Means, a very pious lady and worthy daughter of Robert Means, of Saco. She died Oct. 5, 1800, in Topsham, at the age of seventy-seven years.
Robert, Sarah, Jean, Mary, Hannah, Margaret, William, Dorcas and Thomas.
(III) Thomas, youngest child of John (1) and Mary (Means) Patten, was born Feb. 10, 1761, in Topsham, Maine, where he resided and passed away May 30, 1841. He married Catherine Fulton, born Aug. 21, 1765, in Topsham, and died June 1, 1816.
George Ferguson, John, James, Fulton, Katherine, Thomas, Pauline M. and Statira.
(IV) Captin John (2), son of Thomas and Catherine (Fulton) Patten, was born in Topsham, Aug. 27, 1789, and died in Bath in 1887. During his earlier years he was a mariner. In the war of 1812-15 he was mate with Capt. Levi Peterson and was captured by the British five times. Through these mishaps he found himself penniless at the close of the war, and was obliged to use his month's advance to buy an outfit, but through his energy and ability he became in 1816 owner and master of the brig "Ann Maria," of 530 tons register, of Topsham.
In 1820 he settled in Bath, and there in 1821 he and his brother, George F., formed a partnership under the stule of George F. and J. Patten, ship-builders, which continued forty years. Their ship-yard was south of the present office of A. Sewell & Company. Their first vessel was the brig "Jasper," of 222 tons. Subsequently they built forty other vessels, most of which were ships. The firm was finally dissolved, and Capt. Patten took his son, Gilbert E. R. Patten, as a partner, and they occupied the yard adjacent to that of Major Harward. In 1869 they built their first vessel and called it the "Nimbus." Capt. Patten always retained an interest in other shipping, becoming part owner in steamers and ships built by other firms. It has been estimated that he was an owner in sixty-five vessels.
The following account, published at the time of his death, gives an idea of various positions of trust held by Capt. Patten and the various benevolent acts scattered through a long life. "For several years, up to the time of his death, he was a trustee of the Bath Savings Institution, the Old Ladies' Home, and a director of the Lincoln Bank. He was one of the first members of the Merchants' Exchange, afterward known as the Bath Board of Trade; a stockholder and for many years manager of the Bath Gas Light Company; and president of the Patten Library Association. He was largely interested in building the Sagadahoc House and gave a large sum for its completion. Endowed with a benevolent heart, he gave largely to churches, public institutions, and private enterprises. He gave several thousand dollars to the Old Ladies' Home, a goodly sum toward its erection of the High School Building, and the Soldiers' Orphan Home was frequently a recipient of his bounty."
He was a constant attendant upon the public services of the Central Church and gave liberally to religious objects, although not a church member. He was a member of the first city council of Bath, and served the city as mayor in 1851-52. He also represented the city one term in the legislature. He was thirty-one years old when he settled in Bath and lived there sixty-six years, unti lhe had entered upon his ninety-eighth year. Very few attain his age with perfect health and unimpaired faculties, and it is a rare instance where one of advanced age has been able to give personal attention to business to the very last days of his life. His gentle, beaming countenance was a pleasant sight for old and young. The restless spirit that so strongly marks this age seems to have passed him by; he moved serenely in the midst of his fellow citizens, receiving the respect and regard of the entire community, and at each recurrence of his birthday in later years, a large number of citizens were accustomed to assemble at his dwelling, to do honor to the good citizen and venerable man. From the funeral sermon of Capt. Patten preached by Rev. Mr. Dunnel the following extracts are made:
"It is not as a person valuable for his age, it is not as a successful money-getter, one estimated by the figures of his taxes, but preeminently as a man that Captain Patten stands within our memory. His remarkable health one may safely say to have been partially due to the robust nature of his moral character. His physician states that to the last of his life there was no organic difficulty impairing his physical life. He had never impaired his constitution. Though a little remarkable for a seafaring man, he was not addicted to the use of tobacco in any form. Although brought up in a period when spiritous liqours were used with a freedom we can hardly comprehend today, he never used them in any but the most moderate degree, and of late years not at all. His even, cheerful disposition was a great moral factor in his physical life. He was a man who never allowed himself what is popularly called the 'blues.' Gloom was not a companion that he tolerated in his home. He was what we would call a successful man, and I speak of it only to point out another way in which his manliness has impressed itself upon us. His success shows his character, because it was his own. He was in every sense a self-made man. I can testify from what I have heard him say that he was sensitive to anything which seemed to reflect on a man of small beginnings. He had the keenest feelings about the value of self-made life. 'There are few of us," he said, 'who have not worked up from the smallest start.' It was not often we spoke together on religious themes, but whenver we did, he always talked without reserve - 'Jesus has done everything for me.' This was the expression which he coined himself, and which he repeated again and again. Surely no one who knew his life would be slow to believe that it had such a source. His spirit can be easily understood when I remind you of a simple incident. As he was one day on his way from his office to his home, a poor man stopped him, asking if he would not help procure a coat, when Capt. Patten quickly removed his own, gave it to the man in need, and himself proceeded homeward without any. Any unworthy person rarely received aid from him. He was discriminating as well as generous. Truly there was fulfilled in him the promise to the godly, 'With long life will I satisfy him and show him salvation.'"
John Patten married (first) Betsey Bates, of Boston.
Thomas and Gilbert E. R.
Thomas became a sea captain and died in middle age; Gilbert E. R. is mentioned at length below.
He married (second) Mary, daughter of Levi Peterson, of Bath.
A son and a daugher, both of whom died young.
(IV) James Fulton, son of Thomas and Catherine (Fulton ) Patten, was born in Topsham, Maine, June 28, 1790, and was educated in the schools of his native town. He then commenced a seafaring life, during which he made his home in Bath, and became a commander of vessels. He sailed in Bath ships, chiefly those built by his brothers, John and George F. Patten, becoming eventually a member of the firm, in which he continued until retiring from active business.
He married a granddaughter of Colonel John Reed, of Topsham.
Charles E., Frederick H. and Emma Reed Patten.
Capt. Patten died Jan. 14, 1883, aged eighty-two years.
(V) Captain Gilbert E. R., second son of Capt. John and Betsey (Bates) Patten, was born in Boston, Mass., Feb. 28, 1825, and died in Bath, Maine, Jan. 12, 1882. He was educated in the public schools, but like the majority of young men in Topsham, to which place he went with his parents at an early age, he had an inclination for the sea, and entered upon the life of a sailor at fifteen years of age, commanded in youth ships owned by his father, and in the latter part of his life retired from the sea and joined his father in building ships. Manifesting unusual ability for his chosen career, he easily gained promotion, and at twenty-one was captain of the ship "Halcyon," one of the youngest commanders that ever sailed out of Kennebec. One who knew him well writes: "I was with Captain Patten when he first stepped upon the active stage of life, in the first ship he commanded, and although I believe not yet two and twenty, he exhibited abilites far in advance of his years; sound judgment, coolness and self-possession in danger, and a faculty to command, qualities so necessary to carry the ship-master safely through the thousand difficult passages that are sure to lie in his way. I remember him in his second voyage as master in a most perilous situation, one which called forth the best qualities of the seaman to extricate his ship and save her from imminent wreck. He was equal to the emergency. With quick decision he adopted the course which the event proved was the only one that could have brought him out of the jaws of destruction, and the decision, made with a coolness and precision that would have done honor to a veteran, carried his plan to a successful issue. Even in those early days, he was governed in his dealings and in his intercourse with men by principles of high honor, and I well remember the impression he made upon those with whom he was thrown in business relations in different countries, and the many words I heard spoken in priase of his trustworthiness and integrity."
He had a stately and handsomely furnished home on Washington street, Bath, which he built in 1860, and there he passed the last years of his life. On leaving the sea he became junior partner in the firm of John Patten & Son, and was engaged in ship-building for several years. The vessels built by the Pattens collectively and individually, between 1819 and 1875, were: Thirty-eight ships, four barks, three brigs, two steam vessels and one schooner, a total of forty-eight.
Captain Patten's health failed while he was yet in the prime of life, and he was compelled to seek its restoration in various parts of his own land, as well as in foreign climes. This practically closed a highly prosperous and eminently successful business career, and cripped energies that were freely given to enhance the prosperity of Bath and add to the happiness of his fellow citizens. Naturally of a social and cheerful nature, he formed and retained through life the regard and respect of a large circle of friends and acquaintances. His kindly disposition and genial smile remained undimmed through years of physical suffering, which he bore unflinchingly, while his resigned and truly Christian spirit enlisted the sympathy of both his earlier and later friends.
Capt. Gilbert E. R. Patten and Emma M. Owen were married in 1859. She was born in Wayne, Maine, daughter of Henry W. and Clara M. (Martin) Owen, of Bath, formerly of Wayne.
John O., who is mentioned below.
Clara M., married Feb. 10, 1887, Richard E. Goodwin, of Augusta.
(V) Frederic H., youngest son of James F. Patten, was born in Bath, Maine, May 13, 1838, where he obtained such education as was afforded by the schools of his native place. When entering upon business, he went to New York City and engaged in the shipping trade. Upon the decase of his father, in 1883, who left him a large property, he returned to Bath, where he continued during the remainder of his life, attending to the business of his estate. He died July 23, 1889.
He was a quiet, unassuming man, of striking personal appearance and genial manners, whose departure in the prime of life was greatly missed by his numerous friends and acquaintances.
On April 26, 1883, he married Clara Allen, of Bath, daughter of Allen and Jane Ann (Burtnett) Kendrick. She was born in New York City.
(VI) John Owen, only son of Capt. Gilbert E. R and Emma M. (Owen) Patten, was born in Bath, April 20, 1861, died April 29, 1898. He was educated in the public schools of Bath and at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, taking a special course in the latter institution. In 1884 he became a reporter on the staff of the Boston Post, in which he later bought an interest, and still later became its managing editor. He disposed of his interest in the paper, returned to Bath and became co-executor with his brother-in-law, Richard E. Goodwin, of the estate of his grandfather, Capt. John Patten.
Several years after returning to Bath he bought the Daily Times of that city, which he edited and considerably improved, both in circulation and influence. He was largely interested in the financial affairs of Bath and was president of the Bath branch of the Sagadahoc Loan and Trust Company, and a director of the Bath National Bank.
He traveled extensively, having doubled Cape Horn and made a sailing voyage to Madeira and England. In 1887 he made a trip around the world, visiting many countries in Europe, as well as Turkey, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, India, Ceylon, Java, China, Japan and California. He passed the winter of 1892-93 in Spain, where he devoted considerable time to the study of the Spanish languages.
John Owen Patten married, Feb. 23, 1886, Lucy W., born in Bath, daughter of Charles W. Larrabee.